A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
This drama contains (unfortunately) period-correct racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism: references to "natives" in a movie, Monroe tells Pat he can sleep with any woman at the office except Monroe's secretaries, Pat responds that he hates "to see a pretty secretary go to waste." A man mutters disapprovingly about "Jews and money," and a subplot concerns German oppression against Jewish people. There's anti-German sentiment, too: a villainous German official is called a "Kraut." On the other hand, a film mogul understands his job: "For two hours, we can make people laugh, sing, and forget."
Positive Role Models
Monroe is presented and described several times as "heroic," yet he's duplicitous to those close to him, having an affair with a colleague's wife and at the same time flirting with the colleague's daughter. Women are given lesser roles in this production, often relegated to admiring the big, bold, brave men around them. Female characters are presented as interchangeable and valuable only for their looks; they're frequently shown in vintage lingerie and scanty outfits and discussed as if they're sex objects.
Violence & Scariness
A despondent character jumps from a balcony; we hear a thud and see spattered blood and his unmoving body at length with blood around the head. Occasional violent expressions: one man tells a rival he's "shoving a hot poker up his ass." A woman slaps a man for something she thinks he's responsible for.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual content: a woman is shown on her knees giving a man oral sex in a theater in a brief scene (no nudity); a man is seen urinating from a balcony (no nudity, we mainly know by the noises); a woman is in her bra in a man's office in a scene that implies she's trading sex for professional advancement; a woman whose dress is complimented says the admirer should see what it looks like "in a ball on the floor."
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Cursing: "f--king," "f--k" (as a reference to sex), "damn," "hell," "ass," "goddamned." People call each other "idiot" and "pr--k."
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Products & Purchases
The trappings of old-school luxury are everywhere for the film moguls and stars in this film: big parties, fancy cars, crystal, Champagne, unlimited power; meanwhile, others are dead broke and don't even have a roof to sleep under in the rain.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink cocktails at parties and dinner; one character who has an IV drug problem (the drug is unspecified) gets drunk before peeing off a balcony and committing suicide by jumping.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Tycoon is a drama set in 1930s Hollywood about movies and the people who make them. It's got some mature content: Characters are seen having oral sex (no nudity), a woman is seen in a bra in a producer's office exchanging sex for professional favors, a man urinates from a balcony. A character jumps from a balcony; viewers see spattered blood and a dead body, at length. Female characters are presented as sex objects who are interchangeable -- they're often shown in brief and revealing outfits, including vintage lingerie, and appreciated only for their looks. Characters drink at dinners and parties; they get drunk and make terrible mistakes. Cursing includes "f--k," "damn," "hell," "ass," "goddamned." There's plenty of period-correct racism, sexism, and assorted other bigotry: expect to hear anti-Semitic and other slurs like "natives" and "Kraut."
Is It Any Good?
The names in the credits say "quality drama," but this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's final, unfinished novel is old-fashioned, not classic. Monroe sails through the office like a lesser Don Draper, barking out orders to secretaries and scriptwriters as women giggle and gawk in his wake. Everyone, it seems, can't stop talking about Monroe Stahr, something another character literally says at one point. Except he's not that fascinating to the viewer. So it quickly grows irritating hearing how brilliant and magnetic and heroic he is, despite a scene designed to show us he's fragile, too: "He has a congenital defect in his aorta," says Pat. "One day his heart's literally going to explode." Do we hear a clumsy metaphor?
It's always fun seeing elegant parties, women in satin, live jazz bands, and vintage Hollywood back lots with costumed extras. But The Last Tycoon is no Great Gatsby, not even close. The characters, too thinly drawn, don't land; they come off as props making speeches about Hollywood's many sins (Fitzgerald was a frustrated screenwriter, after all). One final, nitpicky detail: In a movie set in the 1930s, the women are styled in a very modern way. Lily Collins' full brows would have looked mighty odd in an era when thin, plucked arches (think Greta Garbo) were all the rage; other characters wear similarly period-incorrect shades and styles. It's the kind of small detail that a show like Mad Men always got right, and clumsier dramas don't. Maybe that's why Don Draper is an original, and Monroe Stahr, despite being written decades earlier, comes off like a poor imitation.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.